The study entitled Energy Content Of US. Fast Food Restaurant Offerings: 14-Year Trends - used data from a food and nutrient database that compiled data focusing on meals from McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, Taco Bell, KFC, Arbys, Jack in the Box, and Dairy Queen which have all been in the database since 1997. Despite a sharp increase in the variety of fast food with options such as smoothies, apple slices, oatmeal, and grilled chicken, the average calorie counts within these eight major outlets changed little from 1997 through 2010.
The researchers found:
- A 53% spike in the number of menu items across the restaurants - rising to 1,036 from 679.
- Salads rose to 51 from 11.
- There was no significant change in calories for entrees and beverages.
- Desserts and condiments showed gradual increases.
- Side items showed a reasonable drop in calorie counts most likely reflecting the rise in the number of salads offered.
- In 2009 and 2010, the average lunch or dinner entree weighed in at 453 calories and the average side was 263. Dressings, sweet drinks, and additions like a slice of cheese can all raise the count significantly.
An article written about the study Despite Claims, Fast Food Isnt Improving states that to maintain a healthy diet, eating fast food should be done in moderation, if at all. There is no shortage of studies that have linked fast food intake to weight gain and calories are the key to managing weight. If a person burns more than they take in each day, they will lose weight, slowly but definitively. Of course, the only way to do that is to eat an appropriate amount of nutritious food, and to exercise. But, there are healthy ways to help the process through the use of supplements and food choices that can help spark your metabolism.
Click here to read the article
Visit the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
For more information on the study visit the National Center For Biotechnology Information